By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
If there are any more Insidious movies to be made, the producers are not saying. There are whispers of a fifth movie, but how many fans want it? Many believe the saga has run full circle. When considering The Last Key ended at where it started, where it can go will depends on where the story can go next. Lin Shaye gives the character of Elise Rainier credibility to what most real-life paranormal investigators do.
When this series began, we were introduced to a young Dalton Lambert (Ty Simpkins). He is gifted with the ability to walk in a netherworld (known as the Further) unabated. His parents, Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne), are very scared and believe with this talent, he will lose his way. Spirits populate this realm and none of them are friendly; they spirits wish to feed upon his life energy like a vampire requiring blood.
When audiences learn that Dalton’s ability was passed down by his father in Insidious: Chapter Two, the fun becomes all the more chilling. Although Josh’s ability had been suppressed, he has to unlock his memories and remember his past if he is to save his boy.
When considered I’ve talked to individuals who have this ability, and chose to close it off, the fear feels more real if they let their barriers down and find a lot of spectres have been waiting. Thankfully, in our notions of what dealing with the paranormal is like, the ghosts we encounter are not malicious. They merely wish to communicate.
Chapter Two reveals many scary facts: 1) anyone who walks within this spirit world exists outside of time and space. 2) For these souls who are trapped here, they can also manufacture the universe they want to exist in. With the release of The Last Key, the fourth film, the deceased manufacture their own hell.
If this world created by James Wan and Leigh Whannell sounds like it has telltale elements of Horace Walpole’s seminal novel The Castle of Otranto or even H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dreams in the Witch House (if interpretations can go that far) in their plot, then perhaps this concept is their plan. The play on the haunted house trope is expanded upon with the suggestion the abode the trapped family lives in is alive itself! Perhaps that’s the reference nobody has noticed yet. While the spirits can freely move about, they always move towards at the same abode to terrorize the victims.
Whannell’s exploration of what goes on in an out-of-body experience may also be influenced by his cultural heritage. This Australian might have adapted what his country’s native people believe in. To step in and out of this dream world is as easy as going to sleep. Transitioning between these worlds is easy, but to deal with what exists in this ethereal realm requires knowledge.
These natives believe that what goes on in this realm needs to be respected. If they do not, trouble will quickly follow. They also believe the entities lack a moral code and they have all the habits that are considered good and bad in humans. Those spirits tend to err on the side of evil.
The showdown between Elise Rainier and the Red-Faced Demon is inevitable. Just when that will happen depends on the studios and producers saying let’s do it. According to MovieWeb, the surprise success of The Last Key suggests there’s more doors to unlock. Fans of this series loves Rainier; she’s just as determined as Lorraine Warren to battle evil and bring peace to those haunted by the demons from The Further. Let’s just hope this actress doesn’t pass on otherwise that would truly put the franchise to rest.